Japanese Recovery Capsule Returns To Earth

Japanese recovery capsule returns to Earth

Japan's first recovery capsule returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Sunday morning Japan time as scheduled.

Japanese space agency JAXA confirmed that it landed shortly after 7:00 AM in the Pacific Ocean near Minamitorishima in the Ogasawara Islands. The capsule will be recovered by ship.

The Kounotori7 on Thursday undocked from the space station, which is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers.

The Kounotori7 gradually lowered its altitude and approached the Earth. At 6:24 AM the capsule detached from it.

The Kounotori7, which was carrying waste from the space station, burned up. The capsule flew over Japan and landed as planned.

The capsule was developed by JAXA. It is designed to withstand temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Celsius while maintaining a low internal temperature. The capsule is bringing back crystallized protein from the space station for medical research.

Until now, only the US and Russia have had recovery capsule capability.